Ten students. Three months of hard work and rehearsing. One killer play.
SJC Long Island’s Drama Society performed Joseph Kesselring’s play “Arsenic and Old Lace” April 26 through April 29, at The Muriel and Virginia Pless Center for Performing Arts. The 1939 dark comedy, which has been performed many times on Broadway and was turned into a movie, stirred much laughter from the audience, including SJC President Donald R. Boomgaarden.
“St. Joseph’s Drama Society’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” was delightful — I thoroughly enjoyed the performance,” Dr. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., said after the APril 26 performance. “Our students excelled in their roles and captivated the audience with their skill and humor.”
Also in attendance were students, faculty, staff and family members of the cast.
Kesselring’s play revolves around two sweet women in their 60s, Abby and Martha Brewster, who run a small bed and breakfast in Brooklyn. They lure in older, lonely men and poison them, believing that they are doing these men a favor. Their nephew Teddy, who’s convinced he is Theodore Roosevelt, lives with them. Mortimer, Teddy’s brother and a theater critic, discovers the body of one of his aunts’ victims. Abby and Martha’s other nephew, Jonathan, shows up after years of fleeing police for murders he’s committed.
“One of the most fun things about producing ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ was taking the characters from the show and developing them into our own vision of what they should be like,” second-year Drama Society Club President Sally Mellina said. “It is a process that is never fully complete, but it always helps make the show unique from other productions.”
Mellina, a junior majoring in English, developed a passion for the performing arts while in high school. She joined SJC’s Drama Society as a freshman.
This production’s cast consisted of Ian Byrne ’19, Maxim Braem ’20, Tim Hanna ’19, Emily McClernon ’19, Geena Moore ’18, David Pesce ’21, Chris Ryder ’19 and Cecilia Young ’19, along with former Drama Society member Kaitlyn Jaenicke ’17.